We left Albury at about 8.00am and at that time my day was just like any other, it would soon become very different !!
We started out on the Hume Freeway but after about 2km the signs told us that we were no longer allowed to be there. We weren’t sure wether this was temporary or not so we got the iPad out and looked for alternative routes. I have to say that with a 70km ride I wasn’t to happy with the solution. It added about 15km to our ride and countless hassle trying to follow the route. It took us through, woods, single track, pavements, bike paths, unsealed roads, sealed roads, across rivers, along side railways, over the railway, under the railway, across the Freeway and just about everything else you could think of !!
I’m not sure why but although the new route was interesting, sometimes beautiful, quiet, peaceful and certainly better than being on the Freeway, I was frustrated. I had to keep getting of my bike to check the route on the iPad, it was driving me mad. Then to cap it all, I got a puncture ! This is something that normally wouldn’t ruffle my feathers but today it sent me into a right state.
If you read my blogs you’ll know I suffer front depression, anxiety and I’ve had problems with frustration in the past. Today was scary, I went from being a happy cyclist to utter rage, inside my head there was a battle going on. On one side there was one part of me that wanted to explode, the rage, frustration and anger was trying to get out but somewhere in my head there was still part if me trying to stop it from happening. My panniers were launched, the tent was next, even my shoes were removed and thrown. If someone had stopped and asked me if I wanted to go home, I’d have gone. Naomi, bless her has seen this happen before, not often but I can’t hide it any more. She stands back and watches while I try to regain control, this time I finally collapsed onto the road and wept.
It’s a terrible thing to be so close to losing complete control, scary, I’m not sure what to do now. Cycling and running used to be the way I dealt with my mental disorder but for some time now it’s started to lack the desired affect.
It’s hard to believe that something as mundane as a simple puncture could make me feel so bad, all the negative images of myself resurfaced and tried to consume me, it left me feeling empty, shallow and frightened !!
So there it is, how an ordinary day can go very wrong !!
After I’d recovered myself, I did fix the tyre and we did carry on with the ride, I muttered a “sorry” to Naomi, it hardly seemed enough but I was so embarrassed !!
As I said earlier the route was actually great and although it took a while it was far more interesting than the Freeway would have been.
We made our way through Wodonga and found some back routes into Barnawartha where we stopped for a quick coffee. From there we carried on through Chiltern, a very pretty little village and turned right towards Springhurst. This meant more unsealed roads, dry fine ground grit and fortunately no loose sand, it was almost as good as the sealed road. From here we followed the railway, either on one side or the other until we arrived in Wangaratta. I finally found a replacement for my Swiss Army knife that the nasty man at Sydney airport took of me, when I bought the knife I did so in an airport and I was told it was legal, apparently not here !!
Anyway, we also had lunch before cycling round to the caravan park, close to town and the river, it also has a bridge that takes you straight to the pub, how convenient 😉
So tents up, coffee on, showered, emails, FB and photos sorted. Then out for a beer before I get back to write this.
I seriously hope tomorrow will be a better day for me !!
Good night 😉
Don’t worry, I didn’t forget the photos…
Considering the day I had, there are some nice photos of a very beautiful ride 😉
It was cold last night and that meant, condensation, which meant we woke to very wet tents, I actually wrung mine out and it was still wet when we arrived at the days end !! As I said it was cold, the coldest I’ve been on this trip, I actually wore a fleece to bed !!
Oh well, at least by the time we’d had breakfast the sun had crept over the buildings and was beginning to warm us up. We left about 8.15 and only had about 70km to get to Violet Town. The roads were far easier to navigate today and I for one felt much better. It was almost the perfect cycling day, bright blue sky, sun shining but not to hot. We made good progress on the almost empty roads and were very soon entering Glenrowan, you’ll see from the photos that it claims to “keep the legend of Ned Kelly”, there are all sorts of tourist things to do with this character but we didn’t stop. It was to early for coffee and to be honest neither of us has much interest in Ned Kelly ! It was a pretty little village though.
We headed on crossing the freeway several times, almost empty by UK standards and the back road we were on was empty. The next place we came to was Benalla, a much bigger town and far busier, it was time for coffee and we stopped at McCafe, $10 gets you two large coffees and two muffins, great value and great coffee 😉
From Benalla we only had about 30km to go, we were enjoying the ride and hadn’t realised we’d got so far so fast. The scenery was pleasing to the eye, the roads quiet and flat and with the occasional village to add interest it was a good day.
We made it to Violet Town by 12.45 and decided to have lunch, we found a cafe opposite the hotel and ordered food. Next thing you know we’re looking at the map to see if we can get further, Euroa was the next place and only 20km away. The chase was on, so after lunch we got back on the bikes and headed on to Euroa. More lovely quiet roads bring you out of Violet Town, across the railway and then parallel with the freeway. It was great but then the road was closed ahead and we were forced to use the freeway for the last 14km into Euroa, sad but no other option. We arrived at the caravan park and payed for our pitch, we then layer our tents out in the sunshine to dry. Ok so our tents weren’t in our little box, but they weren’t up and they could easily be moved. The manager wasn’t happy, he had a caravan coming in and he wanted them moved, I asked how much room he needed and he just told me that our pitch was No 44, end of discussion !! I’ve met a few jobs worths in my time but this guy ranks right up there !!
We finally got the tents dried and up, showered and then went for a walk round the town. It didn’t take long, there wasn’t much to it, although it did have a bank that was robbed by Ned Kelly, it also has a heritage trail, lots of historic buildings now have a placard with info to tell you all about them. We also found an of licence so came home with a couple of bottles if beer 😉
Dinner, the usual, internet stuff then bed, it was a long day and I’m tired !!
So we cycled 93km on the day and now we only have two more days cycling into Melbourne, very exciting !!
And so for a few photos…